With the announcement of spending cuts of £128m from the Assembly’s budget, Sammy Wilson had stated his intention to offset the loses in part with Departmental underspends.
“We knew [this] was coming down the line and when departments surrender money through the year, as inevitably they do, we can maybe use some of that to offset these cuts that have been imposed on us,” Mr Wilson said.
Now DSD has declared a halt to plans to develop the Donegall Street and Royal Avenue area of Belfast a large chunk of money will be heading back to DFP.
DSD planned to contribute £110m to it, which was set aside for land acquisition and urban regeneration linked to the scheme.
It seems despite Alex Attwood’s hope the money will return to his department, DSD’s failure to deliver could immediately cover the bulk of the proposed cuts.